HTC Merge

Let's face it, folks: The prospects of the HTC Merge seeing the light of day before 2011 are next to nil. It just ain't gonna happen. And that's a darn shame, because a lot of you -- and us -- were looking forward to Verizon getting its own version of the G2.

We got a good look at it way back at the beginning of October (see our hands-on and video preview), but aside from the odd advertising appearance, Best Buy mention and random accessory spotting, we've seen little indication that it's been scheduled for release.

So what happened to the Merge? Current scuttlebutt is that it was caught in a strange time for release. The Droid 2 (and Droid 2 Global) is still pretty new. LTE was about to be announced. Did we really need another non-4G slider keyboard? Toss in the firestorm over the G2 locking out hackers, plus Bing being on the Merge, and the strikes were mounting.

Will it return in 2011 with an LTE radio? Will Bing still be on board? Tough to say at this point, with the prospect of dual-core processors and new versions of Android on the horizon. Tis a shame, really. The Merge may have died before its time.